We had a very small group with a nice mix of ages. I am sure that enhanced the experience for us, since it allowed us to interact a lot with the crew (who were warm and friendly and helpful) and all take part in activities on offer. I can see how this experience would depend on a great crew - it is not a fancy ship, the meals and sleeping arrangements are pretty basic. A great crew can make or break your experience. We got lucky.
I really think to get the most out of a visit to the Bay of Islands, you need to get out on to the water, among the islands.
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